The First 20 Minutes (aka Just Move)

“The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk — all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active.”

I learned this from Steve, who sent a post from the New York Times:  “The Surprising Shortcut to Better Health”

In this, science writer Gretchen Reynolds explains the research behind this claim, which she has distilled into her new book on the topic.

Here is a radical quote from the post, one that speaks to me directly: “It would be nice if people would look at exercise as a way to make themselves feel better and live longer and not necessarily as a way to make themselves skinnier.”

Here is another quote that speaks to me (as I sit): “I really do stand up at least every 20 minutes now, because I was spending five or six hours unmoving in my chair. The science is really clear that that is very unhealthy, and that it promotes all sorts of disease. All you have to do to ameliorate that is to stand up. You don’t even have to move. I’m standing up right now as I talk on the phone. I stand during most of my interviews now.”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this – click the link, check it out, and then post a comment here!


A Life-Saving Lesson

Years ago, after we spent a cloudy-turned-sunny morning waiting to meet Hillary Clinton, Sally taught me a lesson that I used every day since:  You need to wear sunscreen every single day of the year.  Steve and I were burnt.  Sally was not, at least not on her face.  What’s up with that, I asked.  I told you Mom, she said, you need to wear sunscreen EVERY day, not just the sunny ones!

Please take a minute and watch this video that I got from Sally’s blog.  There is a second life-saving lesson in here, on top of the sunscreen one.


New Adventures in Rice

After a lifetime of making rice the same old way, I learned a new way: You can make rice in lots of water, like you make pasta!  This is from Carolina Rice – and it worked great!  Did we lose some nutrients in the water?  Maybe.  Hey – did you already know this???


Cooking Directions – On the Stove

30 Minute Cooking Method:  To prepare up to 2 cups of brown rice bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice. Return to a boil. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes. If desired, 1 tablespoon tub margarine and 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of rice can be added to the water while cooking. Drain water. Serve.

Natural Rhythms

A Friend* learned that she could return to the natural rhythms of her body, get more sleep, and be much more productive, by giving up large amounts of caffeine.

She traded a pattern of very late nights for one of earlier mornings, and is getting more done, while feeling much better.

* I almost didn’t get this lesson to share.  Unlike me, my friend does not want to publicize every detail of her life, by name.  If you will share something valuable and don’t want me to use even your first name, just let me know – I can do that!  Learning through others is what this is all about!

Bread, Interrupted

I have learned, from the good people at the King Arthur Flour Baking Hotline, what to do when you have to run out in the middle of making/rising bread!

It turns out that you can punch down the dough (the most fun part anyway), stick it in the fridge, and pick it up later where you left off.

I also learned, for the second time, how great those expert bakers are with their free and earnest advice!

Here is the proof of this valuable lesson, bread for Maddy using her own traditional recipe, also from King Arthur!

Same Water, Just More Plastic

I learned another reason not to drink bottled water.

A few years ago, both Sally and Alexis taught me to rethink how I look at buying water encased in plastic when we live in a place with perfect water flowing from our taps.

Since then I’ve noted some places where bottled water makes sense: on a plane, at Fenway Park, at a concert.  Generally places where it would be difficult to bring and/or refill your own bottle with good cold water.

But on this day I saw what has to be the worst scenario for bottled water.   I was at my gym when the truck pulled up, delivering case after case of plastic bottles of water, each one designed to be used once and recycled (at best) or thrown away.

This time, I learned exactly where the water came from, from the company name on the truck.  It was bottled a half a mile away, using the exact same water source (our town water) that was in the cold bubbler next to the cooler holding the bottles!

And all this give me another idea… see the next post.